CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Before a crowd of about 12,000 supporters at the Charleston Civic Center Donald Trump vowed to have the coal industry’s back, with many miners at his back.
“We’re going to put the miners back to work. We’re going to put the miners back to work,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee told a cheering crowd twice for emphasis. “We’re going to get those mines open.”
On an unrivaled, busy day of campaigning in the Mountain State that saw both Trump and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders visit, Trump told the crowd not to even worry about Tuesday’s primary.
“What I want you to do is save your vote. You know, you don’t have to vote any more,” he said in the brash style that’s been the trademark of his campaign. “Save your vote for the general election. Forget this one; the primary’s gone. Save your vote for the general election in November.”
Trump later tweeted– “Thank you West Virginia. Let’s keep it going. Go out and vote on Tuesday – we will win big.”
With many miners in the crowd, and some even in their work clothes, the New York real estate mogul was officially backed by the WV Coal Association, as Vice President Chris Hamilton presented him with a hard hat.
“On behalf of the best coal miners in the world, who mine the cleanest and safest; the most environmentally sound coal in the world,” Hamilton said. “We’re so pleased to endorse you today, wish you the best of luck and vow to support you the best we can.”
Trump said he had always been fascinated with mining and miners’ passion for their work. He lamented the clean energy policies of the Obama administration, saying that as coal mining had gotten safer, executive overreach had “taken it away in a different way.”
“I’m not like Obama where he takes Air Force One to Hawaii, stays there for two to three weeks, plays golf, comes back. A Boeing 747 spewing out stuff, and then he has a news conference and talks about the carbon footprint must be safe. Give me a break,” shouted Trump.
Trump promised to repeal Obamacare, defend the Second Amendment, strengthen the military, and take care of veterans, which he pointed out that West Virginia has many.
“Remember this: West Virginia has a massive number–disproportionate to every other state–of veterans. And we’re going to take care of our veterans.”
One of those who introduced Trump was state Sen. President Bill Cole, who endorsed Trump earlier this week.
“I think he’s the kind of guy who will go to Washington, go to work on our $19 trillion debt and do the important things, the heavy lift things, with disregard for the political consequences.”
Trump promised he would return to West Virginia before November, and ended his speech with a bold prediction.
“I’ll be back. And I’ll be back more than once or twice even. Because this is a very important state to win,” he said. “America will be great again. We’ll be America first. We’ll start winning, winning, winning… And for those miners, get ready. Because you are going to be working your a**** off.”
In addition to a Civic Center nearly filled to capacity, thousands listened to Trump’s speech outside the venue.
Trump spoke in Charleston at about the same time as Sanders held a rally in Morgantown.
The above video courtesy of WSAZ-TV in Charleston.